Evaluating the consequences of job discontent, Exit-Voice-Loyalty-Neglect (EVLN) claims that employees can respond to work dissatisfaction in four different directions: by exiting and speaking, by loyalty or by neglect (Withey & Cooper 1989, 521). The concept relies on the principle that discontent in jobs impacts human behavior and has intrinsic and extrinsic consequences on the worker (Leck & Saunders 2005, 219). This shows that it can be assumed and detrimental both for the company and individuals to the effects of work discontent (Nauer 2007, 684).
The reason is apparent: job satisfaction influences many activities of the employee. The Exit-Voice-Loyalty-Neglect (EVLN) model is a vital template for organizing and understanding the consequences of job discontent. This will give in practical advice on how administrators should avoid the detrimental impact of the workplace discontent and, more importantly, the negative behaviors envisaged by the EVLN model.
In 1970, the EVLN model was first developed by Hirschman and extended in 1982 by Rusbult, Gunn, and Zembrodt and Farrell in 1983 implies that, depending on the individual and position, workers may react to work frustration in any or all of these four forms, including, as the name implies, Exit, Voice, Loyalty or Neglect. Exit, in this model, refers to leaving the organization, moving to another unit or office, or trying to exit (McShane 2006, 117). It means leaving the case, like looking for other employment, actually leaving the company, or moving to another unit of operation. Staff turnover is a very well-established product of workplace frustration, particularly for workers elsewhere with excellent employment prospects. Recent evidence further shows that exit is connected with particular shock incidents, such as an incident of confrontation or a significant loss in standards. Such shock incidents create more than mere dissatisfaction; they create strong feelings that energize workers to dream about and seek alternative work.
Voice pertains to an attempt to alter the situation instead of escaping from it. Voice could be positive, mainly when workers communicate their frustration and suggest ways of improving their level of satisfaction (Luchak 2003, 116). On the other side, it can also be harmful when employees start venting to other employees, transmitting negative energy in the office (Turnley & Feldman 1999, 897).
Furthermore, voice, like filing formal frustrations, could also be very confrontational. In the end, certain workers can indulge in harmful activities to get the attention of the organization and effect change. Therefore, a voice could be interpreted as either positive or negative more accurately.
Loyalty pertains to workers who react with complacency to work frustration, ideally by waiting patiently for the issue to fix itself. In the hope of changing their job situation, certain groups of workers usually suffer quietly (McShane 2006, 118).
Neglect, which mainly refers to ignoring one's job function, is perhaps the most dangerous reaction to work dissatisfaction because it includes lower productivity, reduced attention given to quality, and increased lateness and absence (Hagedoorn 1999, 310). The answers can be separate or parallel; thus, an individual can pass through a sequence of responses (Farrell & Rusbult 1992, 203). For instance, before concluding to leave their employment, a disgruntled employee may pass through a phase of negligence (Humphrey 2000, 714). They may talk to their fellow employees after they declare their departure and depart with a 'loud' exit (Withey & Cooper 1989, 522).
Voice and Loyalty can be beneficial when used to try and maintain acceptable relationships, although in other cases, they could be damaging (Wei, Li & Si 2008, 935). Exit and Neglect are generally dangerous as they happen once employees had already decided that it's not worth maintaining the relationship with the organization (Wei, Li & Si 2008, 936).
The existence of alternative jobs is a commonly determining factor. For instance, if an individual has a lot of financial independence, they may decide to exit an aversive condition (Lee & Mitchell 1994, 62). This is much less possible when confronted with low job opportunities and financial pressures (Hagedoorn 1999, 312). Instead, they could use neglect alternative temporarily until there is another job opportunity (McShane 2006, 119). Workers who have served for a long time in a company and who can identify with that company can usually use voice choice to convey their frustration (McShane 2006, 118; Withey & Coopers 1989, 522). This could also be a situation that, for fear of punishment, workers cannot readily leave or move or decrease their efficiency (Rusbult et al. 1988, 619).
Finally, if a worker feels as if they have made much investment in an organization, they can partake in negligent or lazy behaviors and diminish their behavior of ‘organizational citizenship’ (Farrell 1983, 601).
It is evident that employee reactions to workplace discontent directly affect the efficiency and efficacy of the company (Leck & Saunders 2005, 219). Constructive solutions such as attempting to improve working conditions, increasing job satisfaction and changing management strategies add value to a company as they help to reduce employee dissatisfaction at the organizational level (McShane 2006, 120; Naus 2007, 689).
In comparison, disruptive strategies such as dismissal, decreased efficiency, absenteeism, psychological withdrawal, or reduced quality control may severely affect the person, their colleagues, the standard of output content, and the enterprise itself (Naus 2007, 690; Farrell & Rusbult 1992, 215). Understanding employee behavior is a crucial task for managers/directors as it will enable them to restrain those behaviors that disrupt individuals and organizations and promote positive responses (Leck & Saunders 2005, 221).
Secondly, and very important, managers can maintain open conversations between management and employees, for more positive activities like making use of one's voice is an option (Naus 2007, 700).
Finally, the EVLN model is an essential framework used for explaining workplace frustration responses from workers. This contemplates that workers can react to work frustration in different ways depending on their personalities and circumstances and will reply in general by fighting, flight, de-motivation, or complacency. The system is beneficial as it helps managers to recognize behaviors that reflect job dissatisfaction within workers, which in effect encourages them to resolve underlying stresses and concerns. It is recommended that management is conscious of these habits in the light of study and personal work knowledge, so they are indicators of job frustration and maintain communication lines clear for problems of job dissatisfaction to be approached constructively.
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